Disney Parks releases new statement in support of LGBTQIA+ cast, crew, and guests opposing Florida's 'Don't Say Gay Bill'

5 days ago in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Tuesday March 22, 2022 10:5am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is ramping up its opposition to Florida's "Don't Say Gay Bill" with new posts on Instagram this morning.

The official Walt Disney World Instragram account posted the following statement.

To ALL who come to this happy place, welcome.
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products is committed to creating experiences that support family values for every family, and will not stand for discrimination in any form. We oppose any legislation that infringes on basic human rights, and stand in solidarity and support our LGBTQIA+ cast, crew, guests and fans who make their voices heard today and every day.

The Walt Disney Imagineering Instagram account also posted a statement.

We proudly support our LGBTQ+ Imagineers and recognize their incredible contributions in creating countless experiences that bring happiness to millions of guests from around the world each and every year. We strongly oppose any legislation that infringes on the basic human rights of the LGBTQ+ community, and stand in solidarity with our colleagues, families, friends, fans and allies as they make their voices heard.

Disney has come under fierce criticism for its apparent lack of action in fighting Florida's "Don't Say Gay Bill", leading to Disney's top executives taking to various platforms multiple times over the past weeks in an attempt to clarify Disney's position.

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Quinnmac0001 minute ago

I would argue school itself is about learning....as long as they are not actively endorsing or encouraging certain behaviors or peddling absolute lies (I.e my child who identifies as a male must be a girl because he like pink etc....or using you religion analogy promoting and focusing in on converting my kid to christianity), I'm fine with it. My job as a parent is to ensure my child is able to function in the world and contribute to society and be a part of it. Part of that is knowing and seeing how my child interprets and learns information when they are young by exposing them into different viewpoints that i may not fully believe or agree with. My child is not me and isn't supposed to be a mini version of me. They are their own entity.

NelsonRD58 minutes ago

Consider this: Supposed you are an atheist. You have nothing against organized religion, you accept those who practice it, but it is not something you believe in. You do not go to church on Sunday, or contribute to religious affiliations. Then, you find out; that in elementary school, your teacher has been leading your child in prayer, and having religious discussions, all because they asked the teacher about God one day. Is that appropriate?

TP200022 hours ago

The Parks CM's, hourly and salaried, appeared to have completely ignored the last week of "actions"; mostly walk-outs and brunch dates for the Smart Set in Burbank. :rolleyes: https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/the-disney-walkout-that-wasnt-mass-action-against-dont-say-gay-bill-fizzles-at-walt-disney-world/Content?oid=31229068 There was one young man, a Mr. Maldonado who works in a park gift shop, who protested at WDW, among the 60,000+ CM's who work at that site. No one appeared to protest at Disneyland, among the 30,000 CM's who work at that site. I just wanted to give this kid a hug who was the lone Florida protester last Tuesday, even if he and I may disagree on some of the finer details of policy regarding school curriculum and at what age is appropriate for schools to teach about sexual orientation or trans issues. But it took a huge amount of guts and a backbone of steel for this young man to go out there all alone like this! Far more backbone than it took for Burbank's cubicle drones to take a Comp Day, post some hip photos of themselves on the 'Gram, and then all go to brunch to discuss how amaaaazing they are. I have great respect for Mr. Maldonado for doing this all alone...

Figgy11 day ago

I just wish people would accept people are born with their orientation and no amount of pushing will have them go in another direction

jrhwdw1 day ago

As for the Parks....Where are we with Park CMs? Do we think the CMs should be outraged by this?? Or is it just Corprate Drama. If it's just Corprate Drama, There shouldn't be calls to boycot WDW which, I saw in an article this morning....

raven242 days ago

That’s not what it is at all.

Angel Ariel2 days ago

And yet, there are a lot of people who treat others differently because of their race, disability, gender (naming just things that can be obvious in quick CM interactions). Which is why DEI training has become an important aspect of training employees. Because working to ensure that doesn’t happen, in these times, goes beyond simple courtesy training. ETA: I appreciate your point as said here. It was the likening of inclusion to cancel culture that was offensive.

Vegas Disney Fan2 days ago

No offense meant, perhaps I should have worded it better but my point was I don’t have to agree with someone to give them the same friendly service and see that their needs are met the same as the guest in front of them and the guest behind them.

TP20002 days ago

Speaking of the non-response from Parks CM's this past week to the "Walk Out!"... I'm reminded of an ugly incident a few years ago at Disneyland, around 2019. I actually tried to cheer up and comfort a CM doing crowd control during the Christmas parade near Small World after a gaggle of jerks called him a faggot and some other choice gay slurs for asking them to keep moving through a walkway. The CM was a young man who was obviously gay. The CM thanked me, and gave me a pat back on the arm, but said he deals with that sort of stuff all the time and chuckled. We rolled our eyes at each other, and he went on and kept clearing the walkway. "Walkway only, folks! Stay to your right please!" :D Parks CM's, or anyone in any busy customer service job, deals with bigoted comments and open hatred often. It shouldn't happen, but it does. Daily. Hourly. It's happening to some CM in Disney World right now. But if you walked through the 3rd floor cubicles of any Burbank office and yelled that type slur at a cubicle dweller with a rainbow flag on their desk, that employee would absolutely lose their mind. HR would be called, Studio Security would be called, bosses would be summoned, coworkers would rally round and comfort, if the offender was a Disney client they'd be banned from doing business with Disney ever again, if the offender was simply a random visitor they'd be banned from Disney property and the employee who invited them on property would be disciplined, etc. That just has to be part of the reason why the tens of thousands of front line Parks CM's stayed out of this media stunt the past week. They deal with that sort of junk all the time, and they know it's part of the job. :(

Angel Ariel2 days ago

The disabled community has become quite outspoken in the need to include disabled people in the decisions and treatment of their community. “Nothing about us, without us” is a common phrase. That is another aspect of inclusion. Actually hearing and listening to the voices of the marginalized populations, rather than making decisions for them.

lazyboy97o2 days ago

That’s just it. People don’t treat everyone the same. We do make assumptions about people and assumptions about lifestyle play into that treatment.

Angel Ariel2 days ago

As someone living in this space as I fight for inclusion for my daughter every day, this is actually offensive. I realize that it is not intended to be so, but it is. Inclusion isn’t simply about treating people equally. If people treat my kid “equally” with other kids, they’re actually being exclusive - as she needs more supports than a typical person in order to independently access the same things. Our own government provides a nice definition (HUD): “Inclusion is a state of being valued, respected and supported. It's about focusing on the needs of every individual and ensuring the right conditions are in place for each person to achieve his or her full potential.” Ensuring the right conditions are in place for everyone requires training and education. Training and education for individuals, executives, customer facing employees - everyone. Executives can put procedures and accommodations in place (for example, the DAS), but if the ground floor employees aren’t educated and trained, then they can’t put those measures into place. It’s really baffling and upsetting to me to see the concept of inclusion being politicized as it is being here.

TP20002 days ago

But I have to assume that Disney's theme park training programs for the last 20 years have included material about how to accomodate disabled guests or those with special needs. How to graciously move a customer in a wheelchair over so they can use the wheelchair accessible cashwrap at The Emporium, how to operate the wheelchair accesible boats at Small World, how to offer and set up the closed captioning system at It's Tough To Be A Bug, what not to do when assisting a slow moving guest with a cane onto the loading belt at Little Mermaid, etc., etc. If Disney's training until now hasn't included that type of info on the hard skills of operating disabled facilities and the soft skills of serving a guest with special needs, that would seem to be a much bigger issue than simply cutting and pasting the existing disabled training materials from the Courtesy Key or Safety Key slides in the PowerPoint training and moving them over to the new Inclusion Key slides.

TP20002 days ago

Agreed and understood! And that may be a big part of why there was such a huge disconnect between the reaction to all this from Parks employees versus the reaction to this from Studios employees. At the Parks, this issue was almost non-existent, at least from a PR perspective. No one protested on Harbor Blvd. or walked out in Anaheim (with 30,000 on site CM's at the Disneyland Resort). And in Orlando, apparently only one (1) brave young man went out onto World Drive with a sign on Tuesday (with 60,000+ on site CM's at Walt Disney World). Meanwhile, at Pixar Studios in Emeryville they got two dozen people to walk out (with only 1,000 on site employees there). In Burbank, they got 98 people to walk out and go to brunch on Tuesday (with only about 5,000 on site employees at the overall Animation/Studios/Corporate campus there). The average Park CM deals with a broad range of people every single day, every single hour. Many of the folks CM's deal with daily are wonderful people, some are horrible people, and a few are absolute nutjobs. 🤣 But the CM's smile and nod and assign them to Row 3 on the next boat regardless. And they don't make a stink about it. There really did seem to be a class divide on this issue with Disney employees. The hard-working blue collar Parks employees didn't have much passion around it, or an ability to "walk out" even for a coffee break much less take off a whole day. The white collar Studios and Corporate employees seemed to be quite indignant over it and free to openly mock and criticize senior executives, plus seemed excited to have a new excuse why they shouldn't have to move to Florida. :rolleyes: